Hiking Yosemite was chosen for the second stop on my National Parks Project. Why I chose to hike Yosemite in the winter, I don’t know. The call of El Capitan couldn’t be resisted any longer, it had to be my next visit. What ensued was a weekend of getting lost on snowbound trails, falling in an ice river while trying to cross a slippery icy log, and a puzzle that just refused to be finished.
Hiking Yosemite | Where We Stayed
My best friend and fellow adventurer Alex was in charge of most of the planning, landing us a sweet cabin tucked in the hills of Oakhurst. The Goat Mountain trail was fairly close to the lodge, but the heart of Yosemite was nearly 2 hours away. Looking back now, I think the next time we come to Yosemite, we’ll find lodging or a campsite within the park next time, since so much of our time was lost simply driving to trailheads and back to our place.
Hiking Yosemite | Where We Trekked
It’s hard for me to say that we hiked Yosemite. When in reality, after two days, we didn’t complete a single hike. We had the misfortune of visiting Yosemite during a snowy weekend, so none of the trails were visible due to snow cover. We attempted to climb El Capitan and Goat Mountain.
During El Capitan, although we managed to find the trail up to Mile 3, eventually we started having to cross streams, and more and more of the trail got degraded and lost. I fell into the first stream and luckily had extra socks to change into. By the time we hit the second stream, all of our shoes were starting to get soaked from the constant snow. We figured we got lucky for getting as far as we did and decided to head back, since the trail had completely disappeared on the other side and the only sign of life was prints in the trail from a wolf.
During the Goat Mountain trail, we were able to guess our way forward (basically just UP) until we started to get snowed on and the wind started picking up. Rest assured our merry band of SoCal’ers hightailed it straight back down the mountain.
Hiking Yosemite | Final Thoughts
When it comes to my final thoughts on Yosemite, all I can think of to say is “blue balls”. The beauty of Yosemite is incomparable, lush valleys of green capped with white snow and the majesty just doesn’t stop. If Beyonce was a National Park, she would be Yosemite. Or better yet, if a National Park were to be named after Queen Bee, it would be the area known as Yosemite. I will be back, but it surely won’t be during the winter.
Have you had any experience with Yosemite in the winter or any near disasters while hiking? Tell me all about it below!